Pilates workouts are renowned for flattening and toning the midsection. The Pilates 100 is one of the most effective and challenging abdominal moves Joseph Pilates ever perfected.
This move uses both upper and lower body weight to generate natural resistance. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the pose—it's super hard.
How to Do Pilates 100
Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs bent, feet placed on the floor.
- Draw your belly button down towards your spine. You should feel as if there's a string extending from your belly button to your spine and that someone is using that string to pull the entire front part of your body towards your back.
- Slide your rib cage towards your hipbones. Imagine that you could slip your bottom ribs into little pockets underneath them and that your are pressing forward and down into the ground. This posture is known as the "Pilates Corset" because you're tightly wrapping your ab muscles around your rib cage.
Your goal is to keep this position for the entire exercise. Concentrate on not letting your ribs fly up or letting your lower back lift off the floor and raise your knees to table top—forming a 90 degree angle with the floor.
- Extend your fingertips towards your hips with palms facing the ground. Nod yes to bring your head and the top of your shoulders off the ground sliding your fingertips closer to your toes.
- If you are a beginner stay here (level one).
If you are more advanced straighten your legs and extend them straight into the air (level two). Make sure your lower back is still pressing into the floor and that your abs are tight.
If you are ready for an even more advanced version of the pose begin to lower your legs towards the floor until your straight legs form a 45 degree angle with your torso and the floor (level three).
Extend your legs only as low as you can continue to maintain proper form; if you lower back comes off the floor you've gone too far. Your gaze should be on your lower abs—make sure they're not puffed out. If you're doing the exercise correctly just holding this position should feel challenging.